Garthbeg Coat Of Arms

The Lost Families of Stratherrick, Nairn, and Dunmaglass

Alexander McTavish – Solicitor – (1798-1855)

By Craig McTavish, (Auckland, New Zealand)

My 2nd great grandfather was Alexander MacTavish, born in Migovie, Inverness-shire, Scotland 8th Sept. 1798 and who died 8th December 1855 at his home called "Ness Parke" near Inverness. While being a Solicitor, he also continued to run the ancient family farm at Migovie which had been in MacTavish hands since at LEAST 1639,  at which time it is stated that “Tawis Fraser/MacTavish of Gartbeg obtained the lands of Migovie for his son John.” 

Alexander died in 1855.  The death notice from the paper states...." Mr. Alexander MacTavish, town clerk of Inverness, died on the 8th in his 56th year. He was a native of Stratherrick and had been the Conservative Party agent for the county. Besides being a solicitor in good practice, he was an enterprising agriculturist. He carried into the practice of law the same fearless energy, which he displayed as sportsman or improving farms among the hills. And as political agent or leader at a public meeting he had few equals in the north. He was well versed in all local interests and affairs, as fluent in Gaelic, as in English, fertile in resources and prompt in action. He was indeed a man of indomitable spirit and strong natural talent, capable also of close application and study, and possessing a considerable range of information on most subjects fitting him equally for society and business " 

His death certificate states he was to be buried at Boleskine cemetery (probably next to his father Alexander MacTavish, Tacksman of North Migovie who died 1808.)

It is also worthy to note that his father, Alexander MacTavish d 1808 is buried shoulder to shoulder with the men of Garthbeg in a small section at Boleskine devoted ONLY to the head family of Garthbeg.

Alan Lawson’s book, “A Country called Stratherrick” states that  the two most famous MacTavish to come from Stratherrick were the great Simon MacTavish and Alexander  MacTavish Solicitor from Inverness. 

I am still searching for his elusive home he named "Ness Parke"...it appears he lived there from around 1830 till his death in 1855. It appears that his sister in law Maria Mackenzie remained at Ness Parke and cared for his children, as his wife Wilhemina Mackenzie had passed away shortly before him. . His eldest son (Alexander James MacTavish) was only 12ys old in 1855 when Alexander died.  My great grandfather Alexander James MacTavish left Stratherrick for New Zealand in 1864 and became a very successful man in this country.